Singapore bans book on censorship over ‘offensive images and cartoons’

Singapore banned a book on censorship over “offensive images” including controversial cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed, authorities said today.

The city-state is majority ethnic Chinese but has a sizeable Muslim minority, and has strict laws to curb hate speech and actions promoting ill-will between religious or racial groups.

The book, “Red Lines: Political Cartoons and the Struggle Against Censorship” is banned from distribution in Singapore, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said today.

It has been deemed “objectionable” because it contains reproductions of cartoons published by French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which led to violence and protests overseas, the regulator added.

“The offensive Charlie Hebdo cartoons first appeared in 2006 and have been widely labelled as irresponsible, reckless and racist,” it said in a statement.

The book also contained denigratory references to Hinduism and Christianity, the IMDA said.

Anyone convicted of importing, selling, distributing, making or reproducing an objectionable publication faces a fine of up to 5,000 Singaporean dollars imprisonment of up to a year, or both.